Recently, I have been marveling over song craft. I have wondered if the bands that came out of the music industry in the 70’s and 80’s were really the best that the industry could offer. Not having the opportunity to hear the thousands of songs that were written by “indie” artists during the time period, I wondered. Now having gone back and listened to many of the greats, I am convinced that they deserved to hold that lofty place in the industry. The songs they wrote were just plain good, by any standard. It all starts with the song.
Heavy AmericA is an original alternative hard rock band out of Boston, MA. This power trio was formed in 2013 and have just released their debut album independently. The band is Mike Seguin on guitars and vocals and keys, Dan Fried on drums and vocals and Budd Lapham on bass and vocals. I wish I could gush about how the band “brings forth the change so desperately needed in rock music” but I would not be doing a service to anyone. Not to be all negative, there are some bright moments on their self-titled debut album. The very first track starts off with a Nickleback inspired riff and builds into a hard driving rocker. The fourth song on the album “Under Glass” starts off with a soulful bass line and settles into a very pleasant groove. The song “Daddy” has a riff right out of the Green Day song book. Unfortunately, the songwriting on the album is not up to the standards I would expect from a band looking to bring a change to modern rock music.
The musicians here are skilled and seem to play well together but again, the songwriting leaves much to be desired. I don’t hear much being said here. The best advice I could give would be to have their principal songwriter take a creative writing workshop and learn how to express emotions and instill the sense of imagination and discovery in their music. I think this could be a very talented band but as I said, it all begins with the song and I don’t hear a well written song here in the bunch.
Uncle Duke; a.k.a. Rob Penland is the producer and host of "The Mad Music Asylum" a 4 hour weekly syndicated radio show and now a 24 hour streaming internet station.